Ruthie Osorio and Brittany Wiley tied for the student of the year award offered each year by the Women’s Center, in the 25th annual Woman of the Year awards.
Wiley, an English senior, is a student assistant for the Allensworth Mentoring Program where she helps coordinate the program with her supervisor, Donna Davis.
“She’s the most exceptional assistant,” Davis said. “She puts in a great work effort, is a great role model and mentors others.”
Wiley also participates in the Society of Black Engineers and Scientists and the Black Student Union.
Davis said Wiley plans to get a master’s degree in African-American studies and become a professor.
Osorio, an English senior, has been involved in Take Back the Night, The Vagina Monologues, Another Type of Groove and was involved in bringing activist Angela Davis to speak at Cal Poly.
Psychology junior Jennifer Ledbetter won the Volunteer of the Year award. A Cal Poly transfer student, this was Ledbetter’s first year at Cal Poly. She is involved in the Pride Center and Take Back the Night.
Psychology student Jeff Nabity was named Male Ally of the Year. Nabity is involved in SAFER and the Sexual Assault Recovery and Prevention Center for San Luis Obispo County.
Faculty of the Year winner, civil engineering professor Helene Finger, has been the adviser of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) since 2000. The Cal Poly chapter of SWE is the largest in the nation.
“I feel honored because there are so many outstanding faculty members at Cal Poly,” Finger said.
The staff of the Year award went to Charlotte Rinaldi-Zuniga, a career counselor for the College of Liberal Arts .
“As a female staff member, it’s the biggest honor,” Rinaldi-Zuniga said. “There’s a huge overlap among those involved in women’s advancement and those who won. It’s very emotional.”
Rinaldi-Zuniga’s anonymous nominator said that the counselor “bends over backwards for her students and truly prepares them for life in the real world.”
Finger agreed, saying “Charlotte is a phenomenal asset; I’m happy that she was recognized.”
The Women of the Year Award ceremony was held on March 16.
The winners were voted on by two committees after being nominated anonymously. The student committee voted on the faculty and staff awards and the faculty while the staff committee voted on the student, volunteer and male ally awards.